Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Friday, January 2, 2009

Canada Up to Its Old Seal-Killing Tricks

Here they go again. Trying to put a humane face on a barbaric practice.

The amendments to the Marine Mammal Regulations, which include strengthened federal enforcement, come just over a month after newly appointed federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea said Canada is "going straight ahead for the 2009 hunt. We're proceeding as usual."

"No person shall use a club or a hakapik to strike a seal older than one year unless the seal has been shot with a firearm," states one of the new rules, posted Saturday in a government publication but not on the Department of Fisheries and Oceans website.

However, this rule will have little effect because fewer than than one percent of the seals killed during the annual hunt are older than a year.

...Under the new rules, the existing "blink test," used to check whether seals are unconscious before skinning is being eliminated because it is unreliable. The sealers must now feel the seal's cranium to make sure it is broken. Sealers must bleed the animals for 60 seconds before skinning.

...Yet, it is still legal to shoot seals in the water, where none of the new rules can be followed.

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